" A Few Nights of Oud" 

by Maryam Dolatifard

Ali Pajhooheshgar
Ali Pajooheshgar: "A cultural event does not bear fruit in the short term."

           Roudaki Hall in Tehran  hosted the third round of ‘A Few Nights,’ on December 17-19.  It was a music program featuring traditional, classical, and folk players performing in various schools of the art. The first and second rounds of “A Few Nights” were Tar and Kamancheh concerts which was staged in July and August." It was organized by Naghme-Hesar Institute of culture and art, in Tehran in collaboration with the Music Department of culture ministry and The Roudaki foundation.  Nights of oud’s performances concentrate on recognition of this ancient persian musical instrument and it’s significant role in Persian culture. The purpose of these concerts was to promote solo performances of oud and the development professional audiences of this ancient musical instrument.

          Ali Pajooheshgar is one of the most proficient and skilled Iranian musicians and oud players performed at the second night of “A Few Nights”.   He emphasized the importance of this cultural event: "A cultural movement doesn’t occur and bear fruit in the short term."  There is a Persian proverb that says "one hand has no sound”; which means that to reach the desired result, we should pave the way together.  This also applies to Iranian music. Iranians decided to bring back this ancient instrument to their musical culture many years ago.  Tehran music conservatory began to teach the oud academically more than one hundred years ago. A great musician, such as Rouhollah Khaleqi, who composed Iran’s most enduring anthem “Ey Iran”, with all the love he had for Iran, decided to return the oud (the ancient Iranian musical instrument) to the family of Iranian music and musical instruments.

Mansour Nariman wrote books and trained students, and today as the result of those efforts great oud makers are working in Iran, outstanding oud players live here and a vast repertoire of Iranian music, including “Radif” of Iranian music for Oud, is developing.

            According to Mr. Pajooheshgar, "A Few Nights of Oud" is symbol of a hundred years effort of Iranians who were passionate about surviving and bringing back this ancient Iranian musical instrument to their culture and art.  The Radif of Iranian music is the traditional repertoire of the classical music of Iran that forms the essence of Persian musical culture, which inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is a gift to the musicians, and in particular oud players around the world, who can take the advantage of this translation and familiariarize themselves with the magical power of Iranian literature through it.

Mr Pajooheshgar dedicated his performance to Mowlana Rumi, stated: "My performance coincided with death of Rumi and the story of "Pir-e- changi", which inspired me to write the piece of music and to create a picture of Mowlana's poetry.  The audience sympathized with the music and enjoyed it. The chosen subject, storytelling and narration helped the audience to communicate with the performance and accompany the story. It had excellent feedbackand I saw tears in the eyes of the people who experienced it.

About the author
Maryam Dolatifard
Author: Maryam Dolatifard
Middle East Culture Editor
‏Dr Maryam Dolatifard, director of Society of Iranian Music Iconography (Iranian working group of association Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale). A musician- researcher, born in Iran, studied Philosophy of Art and Arts Research. Her research interests are primarily, Iconography of music and performing arts. She is currently focused on multidisciplinary studies in sociology and philosophy of music; discourse analysis of Iranian music based on Michael Foucault’s Methodology. her research findings were submitted in international conference papers. She has been working as oud player and vocalist with several Persian folk and traditional music bands and teaches courses in Art History, philosophy of Art and Islamic art studies, in Art and Architecture Faculty.
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